Kim Richmond’s “Artistry”
The idea has intrigued modern American composers for decades: What would happen if you mashed-up jazz with the symphonic form? Duke Ellington, Gil Evans, Vince Mendoza, and Maria Schneider have written ravishing scores in this vein. Now, the respected Los Angeles reed-man, arranger, composer and band leader Kim Richmond has released his latest masterwork, “Artistry,” a tribute to Stan Kenton. Featuring some of the very best studio musicians in Los Angeles — the ones you hear on TV and movies — the album is rich, multi-layered, arresting, and highly listenable. It’s art music that feels good. Richmond’s wry sense of humor and questing spirit comes through in the writing. His concert jazz orchestra’s excellence comes through in the playing.